AZL Insructions

 

 

Arizona
Lightning
2016

The PCL               

Photo: Lightning over the Grand Canyon in Arizona

AZL image

 

2016 Instructions

The Bolts had a long hard season last year, but they have a combination of revived bats and some key acquisitions (Cespedes and Syndergaard) that will give them a strong chance at the postseason.  Enjoy my Philadelphia home stadium (where two of my three daughters now live) while you play my home games.

Starting Line-ups

Lineup 1 (STD) v. L

Lineup 2 v. R

Lineup 3 (STD)v. R

9

Aoki*

7

Pederson*

7

Braun

3

Votto*

3

Votto*

3

Votto*

8

Puig

8

Cespedes

8

Cespedes

7

Braun

2

Pierzynski*

2

Pierzynski*

5

Seager*

9

Pence

9

Pence

6

Cabrera+

5

Seager*

5

Seager*

4

Johnson*

4

Murphy*

4

Murphy*

2

Pierzynski*

6

Cabrera+

6

Cabrera+

All Lefty starters
 
Rosario plays C and bats 8th v Alex Wood and Gio Gonzalez

Leake, Greinke, Eovaldi,
Eickhoff, Heston, Blanton, Latos, Ross, Scherzer, deGrom, Hahn, Iglesias, Nelson

All Righty starters not listed under lineup #2

Hitter/Platoon Instructions:
The infield is fairly set (except for 2B), but the outfield has several role players that need mix/match work.  I hope the below advices help:
C:   AJ Pierzinski plays almost every day and usually does not come out once in.  However, I am willing to PH in the 8th or 9th if we are losing and you have a Loogy in there.  Wilin Rosario is the backup but does get a few starts v tough Lys.  If he starts, he is out as soon as you bring in a Ry reliever.  He is also backup for injuries or to PH v Lys.
1B:   Joey Votto plays all day every day and does not come out.  Daniel Murphy or Kelly Johnson if there is an injury
2B:   Daniel Murphy plays against Rys, and Kelly Johnson plays against Lys.  OK to sub Johnson for Murphy if a Ly reliever comes in, but leave Johnson in if a Ry reliever comes in.  I like Miguel Rojas for late defense (8th/9th with a lead), and he can PH also v Rys. 

SS:   Asdrubal Cabrera plays all day every day and does not come out.  Miguel Rojas, or Kyle Seager if desperate for offense, in case of injury. 

3B:  Kyle Seager plays all day every day and does not come out.  Johnson or Murphy is the injury possible sub (compare).

OF:  I have 6 outfielders that can contribute and split time, with Braun/Cespedes/Pence the mainstays v Rys, and Aoki and Puig getting time v Lys.  However, many situations are close so I am spending extra time trying to give advice in close scenarios.  At the outset of these comments, please don’t make any change for only a nominal improvement as shown by “compare”:   

Yoenis Cespedes plays either LF or CF most days and I am ok keeping him in v Ly relievers through the 6th if he started.  I estimate a total of 300 abs’ish for the season.  For the last 3 innings, he would likely stay in unless you throw a Ly reliever who kills Rys, it’s a tight game situation, and that Ly reliever would still pitch to an Aoki/Pederson PH.  In other words, for him to come out it has to be late 3 innings, you have a Ly reliever who kills Rys, it’s close, and you’re not immediately going to bring in a Ry if I switch to Aoki/Pederson.  If all of this hasn’t happened, then he does not come out late for defense or otherwise. 

Hunter Pence plays RF v most Rys (please note 207 ab max which I will monitor while on the road, but please also get him out of blowouts and do sub in Puig or someone for late defense, as needed).

Yasiel Puig plays against Lys (he’ll likely wrack up only about 100 abs).  I’m ok with staying with either of these two if we have an early lead and you have brought in an early reverse RP, but if it’s close (even or down 1 by the 6th or later), use compare to see about an Aoki or Pederson PH. 

Ryan Braun plays LF against all Lys and many Rys (unless your Ry SP is a Ry crusher in which case usually Aoki or Pederson will start).   Ok to sub for him late if needed, as he is not in the top 4 defensive options.  Lookin’ like 250 abs. 

Joc Pederson can start for Pence if you really need to bat Ly, or PH v a Ry reliever who kills Rys and it is a game situation.  Pederson’s time v Lys depends on whether the Ly starter kills Rys (rare), or the Ly reliever kills Rys and Aoki doesn’t provide the needed beef in a close situation.  Smells like 50-75 total abs for the year to me. 

Nori Aoki plays v Lys if you need to bat Ly, and he will start a few games v Ry starters who are tough on Rys.  He can also PH/PR.  Best D would include Puig in RF and Cespedes in CF and Pederson/Aoki in LF (Braun is the worst fielder of the lot and Pence has 207 ab max, so he will likely not be around by then). 

  
Late defensive switches
      See comments above, but likely only at 2B or OF

Situational

 

Intentional WalksI will walk a batter to avoid the killer card matchup in close games, to get to a weak clutch hitter, and to get to a weak hitting pitcher early with multiple “ducks on the pond”.  Use common sense here to deal with the “10+ HR/8 diamonds” hitters of the world.  As I recall that includes but may not be limited to Gutierrez and Stanton. 

Pitching Rotation – YOU PLAY THESE:                                               …I play these road games:

 

Home Games

 

 

Road Games

 

Opp.

Game #1

Game #2

Game #3

 

 

Game #1

Game #2

Game #3

 

BAG

Syndergaard

Lynn

Desclafani

 

 

Syndergaard

Heaney

Desclafani

 

LVB

Lackey

Heaney

Lynn

 

 

Lackey

Heaney

Desclafani

 

SBM

Lackey

Heaney

Desclafani

 

 

Syndergaard

Heaney

Desclafani

 

SCT

Syndergaard

Lynn

Lackey

 

 

Lackey

Lynn

Desclafani

 

PBC

Syndergaard

Lynn

Heaney

 

 

Desclafani

Heaney

Lackey

 

AUG

Lynn

Lackey

Desclafani

 

 

Lynn

Lackey

Desclafani

 

HAW

Syndergaard

Heaney

Lynn

 

 

Syndergaard

Heaney

Lynn

 

LAN

Syndergaard

Lynn

Lackey

 

 

Syndergaard

Lynn

Lackey

 

CHI

Syndergaard

Lynn

Lackey

 

 

Lackey

Heaney

Lynn

 

AZL

XXXXX

XXXXX

XXXXX

 

 

XXXXX

XXXXX

XXXXX

 

STL

Syndergaard

Heaney

Lackey

 

 

Syndergaard

Heaney

Lackey

 

VBS

Syndergaard

Lackey

Desclafani

 

 

Syndergaard

Lynn

Desclafani

 

 

Divisional Games – HOME GAMES

 

Divisional Games – ROAD GAMES

Opp.

Game #1

Game #2

Game #3

Game #4

 

Game #1

Game #2

Game #3

Game #4

AUG

Syndergaard

Lackey

Lynn

Desclafani

 

Syndergaard

Heaney

Lynn

Desclafani

HAW

Syndergaard

Lackey

Lynn

Heaney

 

Syndergaard

Heaney

Lynn

Lackey

LAN

Syndergaard

Lackey

Lynn

Heaney

 

Syndergaard

Heaney

Lynn

Lackey

 


Starter #1 Noah Syndergaard (use patience) 20 starts

Pretty much “long and hard” as he is my ace.  Comes out in dots, but show some patience otherwise.  He has 150 inning limit which means half the starts can be 8 innings and half only 7.  If he comes up in the bottom of the 7th, PH for him.  Otherwise, he pitches 8th as well unless we are down by 3+, in which case, figure out a double switch with an outfielder or 2B.  I will manage any remaining usage issues on the road.  OK to PH for him in the 7th or later I’m losing or tied.  Can complete the game if winning.

Starter #2 John Lackey (some patience) 20 starts

Out if dots, but some patience otherwise.  You can PH for him in bottom of 6th or 7th if it is close, and I would like to avoid him facing a string of Ly batters in the 7th or later, so complete games are fairly unlikely. 

Starter#3  Lance Lynn  (some patience) 20 starts

Same as Lackey, but conversion from some patience over to quick hook starts in 6th if it’s close and you have a string of Ly hitters coming up.   

Starter#4  Andrew Heaney (some patience) 17 starts

One of two rookies who played in the minors last year, and the lone lefty in the rotation, but decent.  106 innings means 6 inning max (17 x 6 = 102).  Out if dots, and you can PH for him in bottom of 5th if he comes up in an important moment with runners on or to start an inning.  I would sure hate to see him face a Ly masher in the 6th if it is a close game and there are runners on.   

Starter#5  Anthony Desclafani   (quick hook) 13 starts

The other rook coming up from the minors this year, but not yet a finished product so we need a quick hook with him.  I would love to get 5-6 innings out of him, but you may need to PH for him (even if not yet in dots) in the bottom of the 4th or 5th if it is a key moment.  Batter by batter after the 4th.  The object is to get him out of there at the first reasonable opportunity!

BULLPEN –  This year’s bullpen is definitely situational and by committee, so always look at the next three batters and go with the pitcher who can do best against those three coming up.

closer/setup:

Yimi Garcia (57 innings) is the Ry and Tony Watson (75 innings) is the Ly in the 9th with a lead or tied, but can come in the 8th if needed.  Either can pitch in the 8th or 9th or both depending on the situation.  Yimi has long ball issues; and Tony is, well a Ly.  Ideally, look at your lineup for the 8th and 9th innings and try to maximize the matchup advantages.  I don’t mind Yimi against Ry batters, but I would like to limit his exposure to Ly mashers late.  

Mid-Game/setup:

Edwin Jackson (56 innings) and Trevor Rosenthal (69 innings) are both long men and innings eaters who can also move into setup roles, as needed.  Jackson has better balance, but Rosenthal is better v Ly hitters.  Compare, but often Rosenthal will be the better initial option to relieve Lynn or Lackey as both will likely face heavy Ly lineups.

2nd L’y/situational:

Justin Wilson (61 innings) is actually a screwball lefty who is better against the Ry, but there may be situations where he stays in face a Ly killer or two if the rest of the lineup is Ry.  Because Wilson gives up no HRs, I am also willing to see him appear later in games in the setup role.

R’y situational:

Trevor Gott (48 innings) is the Roogy to come in early or mid-game to get the key Ry hitters out.  I don’t mind him facing a Ly or two as long as it is the minority of the time.  He can often be the first one in for Heaney if Heaney has early trouble.

Good luck!

 

 

2016 Awards:

2016 PCL Champion:

Santa Barbara Mooners

 

 

2016 MVP Voting:

MVP: B. Harper, LVB

Cy Young: J. Arriera, STL

2016 ALL STARS:

C: B. Posey, PBC

1b: J. Votto, AZL

2b: D. Gordon, STL

SS: Tie: B. Crawford, PBC; J. Peralta, AGN

3b: J. Kang, HAW

OF: B. Harper, LVB

OF: M. Trout, SCT

OF: R. Grichuk, SCT

Manager: Eric

GM: Mike

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